SEC investigating irregularities.
According to company insiders, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands inflated U.S. sales figures by thousands of units, reports Automotive News Europe.
An internal audit ordered in 2015 uncovered the practice. As many as 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles for which there was no actual buyers were reported as sold. The insiders said that FCA’s head of sales in the U.S., Reid Bigland, has stopped the practice.
The exact period covered by the audit is not known, but sales were apparently inflated in response to pressure to maintain FCA’s 75-month streak of year-on-year sales increases.
Equally, it isn’t known where the bloated figures originate from. However, investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are said to have visited FCA’s nine regional business centers, and to have spoken with both current and former employees, in a probe of FCA’s sales practices.
A statement from FCA said it is “cooperating with an SEC investigation into the reporting of vehicle unit sales to end customers in the U.S.” It added that “inquiries into similar issues were recently made by the U.S. Department of Justice.”
Neither the SEC, DoJ, or FCA would say if any warrants had been issued in relation to the investigation.
Source: Automotive News Europe